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their vessel, and the skill of the mariners, they sailed fearlessly into the lake, and shaped their course by the compass. The voyage was prosperous. On the third day were descried the islands at the mouth of the strait leading to Lake Huron. In sailing up this strait, hitherto not explored except with canoes, more caution was necessary, but they ran safely through it in thirteen days. The small lake, which they crossed in their way, they called St. Claire, in honor of the saint whose name appears in the calendar for the day on which they entered it. By frequent soundings and other precautions, they passed without accident over the shallow waters of the strait near its northern extremity, till their sails at last caught the breezes of Lake Huron.

Standing thus on an open sea, they felt more secure, and with good heart turned the prow towards the port of their destination. With the usual vicissitudes of head-winds and calms, they advanced slowly, but without danger, till a terrible tempest arose, which filled the boldest mariners with dismay. Hennepin tells us that even the resolute soul of La Salle quailed before the horrors that surrounded him. Joining with the others in fervent prayers to St. Anthony of Padua, he made a vow, that, if he should be delivered out of these perils, the first chapel erected in his newly-discovered countries should be dedicated to that great saint.* The pilot was the only man among them, whose devotions were not quickened by these appalling scenes.

He poured out his complaints upon La Salle, as the author of these calamities, and bewailed the sad fate, by which, after the glory he had gained in braving the storms and rage of the ocean in every clime, he was now doomed to perish in a fresh-water lake. Happily the winds abated, the billows ceased to roll, and, on the 27th of August, a favoring breeze wafted the Griffin into a placid bay in the Island of Mackinac.


Sails to an Island at the Entrance of Green Bay.

Proceeds on his Voyage in Canoes along the Western Shore of Lake Michigan. -Disasters of the Voyage. - Meets a Party of Indians, who threaten Hostilities.- Arrives at the Miamis River.

It was the first purpose of our voyagers to make a favorable impression upon the Indians,


* Hennepin's Description de la Louisiane, p. 58. Clercq's Etablissement de la Foy, p. 148.

whose friendship was essential to their success. These sons of the forest looked with wonder at the ship, the first they had ever seen, which they called the great wooden canoe ; and their astonishment was increased when they went on board, and heard the roar of the cannon. The Sieur de la Salle, clothed in a scarlet cloak edged with gold, and attended by some of his men well dressed and armed, made a visit of ceremony to the head-men of the village, where he was received and entertained with much civility, and where the missionaries celebrated mass.

On the opposite shore of the strait, which separates Mackinac from Michigan, was a settlement of Hurons, which Father Marquette had gathered at that place several years before. Their habitations stood an eminence, and were surrounded by palisades. They had already made such progress in civilization, that they understood the use of firearms, which they had procured from the French traders, and they saluted the commander of the great canoe with three rounds from all their guns. This show of civility, however, was more politic than sincere, for their friendly dispositions were no further manifested.

In fact, La Salle soon discovered that the zeal of his enemies in Canada had been exceedingly active against him during the summer, and that they had taken pains, by their emissaries, to poison


the minds of the Indians and traders in all that region. They had represented him as having a design, not only to monopolize the trade in furs and skins, but to invade and subdue the natives. Reports of this nature occasioned suspicion, and put them on their guard. These machinations operated to his disadvantage in another quarter. The fifteen men, whom he had sent forward to barter and collect provisions, had been tampered with and seduced from their duty. Instead of going to the Illinois, as they were ordered, they had wasted the time at Mackinac, and on the islands and coasts in the neighborhood. Some had deserted, and others had squandered a part of the merchandise with which they were furnished for traffic. Tonty, who reached Mackinac in a canoe some time before the vessel arrived, had been unable to find them all, or to satisfy the disaffected at that place.

These disappointments were discouraging, but they could not be remedied, and the season was too far advanced to admit of delay. It was known that some of the deserters had gone to the Falls of St. Mary, and others to the Indian villages in that direction on the western shores of Lake Huron. These men were important to the success of the expedition, and Tonty was sent with a small party in canoes to search for them, and prevail on them to return to the service

Moreover, a few of them, it was believed, were true to their engagements, and were detained in carrying on their trade with the natives.

Meantime the sails of the Griffin were again spread to the wind. Passing through the strait between Mackinac and the main land on the opposite side, the explorers entered the broad expanse of Lake Michigan, and, coasting along its northern borders, after a prosperous voyage of somewhat more than a hundred miles, they cast anchor in a small island at the mouth of Green Bay. This island was inhabited by Pottawatimies, being a portion of a tribe of Indians of that name residing in the Wisconsin, territory. And here the Sieur de la Salle had the good luck to meet with several of his men, who had been diligent in collecting furs, and had laid up a large quantity in store.

With these furs, and others that might be procured at Mackinac, and at the different posts on the passage, he resolved to freight his ship, and send her back to Niagara, for the purpose of making a remittance to his creditors. This was apparently a sudden resolution, and not satisfactory to his people, who must thenceforth pursue their route in canoes, exposed to numerous hardships and dangers; and in the end it proved extremely unfortunate. But he seldom asked counsel of any person, and was not easily di

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